It seems to me that we should aim at something very much like this today: protected spaces of many different sorts matched to the needs of the different tribes. Michael Walzer (1994)They [animals] are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth. Henry Beston (1928).
This volume brings together a wide-ranging collection of the papers written by Jeremy Waldron, one of the most internationally respected political theorists writing today. The main focus of the collection is on substantive issues in modern political philosophy. The first six chapters deal with freedom, toleration and neutrality and argue for a robust conception of liberty. Waldron defends the idea that people have a right to act in ways others disapprove of, and that the state should be neutral vis-á-vis religious (...) and ethical systems. The chapters that follow are concerned with socio-economic rights. Waldron argues that poverty and homelessness are not to be understood apart from the value of freedom. On the contrary our moral response to them should be based on the same values that underlie traditional liberal philosophy. (shrink)
Pateman challenges the way contemporary society functions by questioning the standard interpretation of an idea that is deeply embedded in American and British political thought: that our rights and freedoms derive from the social contract explicated by Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau and interpreted in the United States by the Founding Fathers. The author shows how we are told only half the story of the original contract that establishes modern patriarchy. The sexual contract is ignored and thus men's patriarchal right (...) over women is also glossed over. No attention is paid to the problems that arise when women are excluded from the original contract but incorporated into the new contractual order. One of the main targets of the book is those who try to turn contractarian theory to progressive use, and a major thesis of the book is that this is not possible. Thus those feminists who have looked to a more "proper" contract- one between genuinely equal partners, or one entered into without any coercion- are misleading themselves. In the author's words, "In contract theory universal freedom is always a hypothesis, a story, a political fiction. Contract always generates political right in the forms of domination and subordination." Thus the book is also aimed at mainstream political theorists, and socialist and other critics of contract theory. The author offers a sweeping challenge to conventional understandings- of both left and right- of actual contracts in everyday life: the marriage contract, the employment contract, the prostitution contract, and the new surrogate mother contract. By bringing a feminist perspective to bear on the contradictions and paradoxes surrounding women and contract, and the relation between the sexes, she is able to shed new light on fundamental political problems of freedom and subordination. (shrink)
This reflection is based on a conversation with Professor Carole Pateman on 4th December 2017 as we prepared for a conference at Cardiff University to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of her seminal work, The Sexual Contract. As socio-legal scholars, The Sexual Contract has been formative in, and transformative of, our understandings of law and gender. We explore Professor Pateman’s academic journey and consider how she came to write a ground-breaking book that has made major impacts on socio-legal and (...) feminist legal studies. The paper is structured around the main themes arising in conversation with Pateman, with each section centred on her own account taken from our conversation in late 2017. (shrink)
Rosenberg argues that economists have embraced the methodology of scientific research programs, and the writings of Imre Lakatos, at the same time that philosophers have been abandoning that approach. According to Rosenberg, the methodology of scientific research programs appears to allow some work in economics, which is neither tested nor testable, to be “scientific” nonetheless. That is, MSRP justifies some current practices which look hard to justify on strict falsificationist, or dogmatic positivist, grounds.
Traditional Western conceptions of immortality characteristically presume that we come into existence at a particular time , live out our earthly span and then die. According to some, our death may then be followed by a deathless post-mortem existence. In other words, it is assumed that we are born only once and die only once; and that – at least on some accounts – we are future-sempiternal creatures. The Western secular tradition affirms at least ; the Western religious tradition – (...) Christianity, Judaism, Islam – generally affirms both and . The Indian tradition, however, typically denies both and . That is, it maintains both that we all have pre-existed beginninglessly, and that we have lived many times before and must live many times again in this world. The Indian picture, then, is that we have died and been reborn innumerable times previous to this life and we will be reborn many times in the future. This is sometimes called the Indian belief in reincarnation. The difficulty with this usage is that the term ‘reincarnation’ suggests a belief in an immortal soul that transmigrates or reincarnates. However Buddhism, while affirming rebirth, specifically denies the existence of an eternal soul. Thus the term ‘rebirth’ is preferable for referring to the generally espoused Indian doctrine. (shrink)
Would personal immortality have any value for one so endowed? An affirmative answer would seem so obvious to some that they might be tempted to go so far as to claim that immortality is a condition of life's having any value at all. The claim that immortality is a necessary condition for the meaningfulness of life seems untenable. What, however, of the claim that immortality is a sufficient condition for the meaningfulness of life? Though some might hold this to be (...) the characteristic religious view, this is certainly disputable. Thus McTaggart reminds us, for instance, that ‘Buddhism... holds immortality to be the natural state of man, from which only the most perfect can escape.’ I want to argue that we can imagine variants of personal immortality which would not be valuable and hence immortality in itself cannot be a sufficient condition for value. What is required for the meaningfulness of life is that life exhibit certain valuable qualities. But then the endless exhibition of these qualities is not only unnecessary for the meaningfulness of life, but the endlessness of a life can even devalue those qualities that would make valuable a single, bounded life. (shrink)
If the focus of interest is democratization, including women’s freedom, a basic income is preferable to stakeholding. Prevailing theoretical approaches and conceptions of individual freedom, free-riding seen as a problem of men’s employment, and neglect of feminist insights obscure the democratic potential of a basic income. An argument in terms of individual freedom as self-government, a basic income as a democratic right, and the importance of the opportunity not to be employed shows how a basic income can help break both (...) the link between income and employment and the mutual reinforcement of the institutions of marriage, employment, and citizenship. (shrink)
Questions about the meaning of life have traditionally been regarded as being of particular concern to philosophers. It is sometimes complained that contemporary analytic philosophy fails to address such questions, but there do exist illuminating recent discussions of these questions by analytic philosophers. 1 Perhaps what lurks behind the complaint is a feeling that these discussions are insufficiently close to actual living situations and hence often seem rather thin and bland compared with the vivid portrayals of such situations in autobiography (...) or fiction. I therefore want to focus on two works by Tolstoy—one autobiographical, one fictional—and try to see what philosophical lessons can be learned from them, particularly with regard to questions about the relation of death to the meaning of life. (shrink)
My thesis is that ‘rational’ is an absolute concept like ‘flat’ and ‘clean’. Absolute concepts are best defined as absences. In the case of flatness, the absence of bumps, curves, and irregularities. In the case of cleanliness, the absence of dirt. Rationality, then, is the absence of irrationalities such as bias, circularity, dogmatism, and inconsistency.
_Contract and Domination _offers a bold challenge to contemporary contract theory, arguing that it should either be fundamentally rethought or abandoned altogether. Since the publication of John Rawls's _A Theory of Justice_, contract theory has once again become central to the Western political tradition. But gender justice is neglected and racial justice almost completely ignored. Carole Pateman and Charles Mills's earlier books, _The Sexual Contract _ and _The Racial Contract _, offered devastating critiques of gender and racial domination and (...) the contemporary contract tradition's silence on them. Both books have become classics of revisionist radical democratic political theory. Now Pateman and Mills are collaborating for the first time in an interdisciplinary volume, drawing on their insights from political science and philosophy. They are building on but going beyond their earlier work to bring the sexual and racial contracts together. In _Contract and Domination_, Pateman and Mills discuss their differences about contract theory and whether it has a useful future, excavate the settler contract that created new civil societies in North America and Australia, argue via a non-ideal contract for reparations to black Americans, confront the evasions of contemporary contract theorists, explore the intersections of gender and race and the global sexual-racial contract, and reply to their critics. This iconoclastic book throws the gauntlet down to mainstream white male contract theory. It is vital reading for anyone with an interest in political theory and political philosophy, and the systems of male and racial domination. (shrink)
Following on from Roy Bhaskar’s first two books, A Realist Theory of Science and The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation, establishes the conception of social science as explanatory—and thence emancipatory—critique. _Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation_ starts from an assessment of the impasse of contemporary accounts of science as stemming from an incomplete critique of positivism. It then proceeds to a systematic exposition of scientific realism in the form of transcendental realism, highlighting a conception of science as explanatory (...) of a structured, differentiated and changing world. Turning to the social domain, the book argues for a view of the social order as conditioned by, and emergent from, nature. Advocating a critical naturalism, the author shows how the transformational model of social activity together with the conception of social science as explanatory critique which it entails, resolves the divisions and dualisms besetting orthodox social and normative theory: between society and the individual, structure and agency, meaning and behavior, mind and body, reason and cause, fact and value, and theory and practice. The book then goes on to discuss the emancipatory implications of social science and sketches the nature of the depth investigation characteristically entailed. In the highly innovative third part of the book Roy Bhaskar completes his critique of positivism by developing a theory of philosophical discourse and ideology, on the basis of the transcendental realism and critical naturalism already developed, showing how positivism functions as a restrictive ideology of and for science and other social practices. (shrink)
Roy Sorenson offers a unique exploration of an ancient problem: vagueness. Did Buddha become a fat man in one second? Is there a tallest short giraffe? According to Sorenson's epistemicist approach, the answers are yes! Although vagueness abounds in the way the world is divided, Sorenson argues that the divisions are sharp; yet we often do not know where they are. Written in Sorenson'e usual inventive and amusing style, this book offers original insight on language and logic, the way world (...) is, and our understanding of it. (shrink)
Introduction: Critical realism, hegelian dialectic and the problems of philosophy preliminary considerations -- Objectives of the book -- Dialectic : an initial orientation -- Negation -- Four degrees of critical realism -- Prima facie objections to critical realism -- On the sources and general character of the hegelian dialectic -- On the immanent critique and limitations of the hegelian dialectic -- The fine structure of the hegelian dialectic -- Dialectic : the logic of absence, arguments, themes, perspectives, configurations -- Absence (...) -- Emergence -- Contradiction I : Hegel and Marx -- Contradiction II : misunderstandings -- On the materialist diffraction of dialectic -- Dialectical arguments and the unholy trinity -- Dialectical motifs : tina formation, mediation, concrete universality, etc -- On the generalized theory of the dialectical remark, the failure of detachment, and the presence of the past -- Dialectical critical naturalism -- Towards a real definition of dialectic -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectic of freedom -- Ontology -- The dialectic of truth -- On the emergence and derivability of dialecticized transcendental realism -- 1m realism : non-identity -- 2e realism : negativity -- Space, time and tense -- Social science, explanatory critique, emancipatory axiology -- 3l realism : totality -- 4d realism : agency -- The dialectic of desire to freedom -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectics of critical realism -- Metacritical dialectics : irrealism and its consequences -- Irrealism -- The problems of philosophy and their resolution -- Contradictions of the critical philosophy -- Dilemmas of the beautiful soul and the unhappy consciousness -- Master and slave : from dialectics of reconciliation to dialectics of liberation -- The metacritique of the hegelian dialectic -- Marxian dialectic i: the rational kernel in the mystical shell -- Marxian dialectic ii: the mystical shell in the rational kernel -- Metacritical dialectics : philosophical ideologies, their sublation and explanation -- The consequences of irrealism -- Diffracted and retotalized dialectics -- Dialectic as the pulse of freedom. (shrink)
Originally published in 1989, Reclaiming Reality still provides the most accessible introduction to the increasingly influential multi-disciplinary and international body of thought, known as critical realism. It is designed to "underlabour" both for the sciences, especially the human sciences, and for the projects of human emancipation which such sciences may come to inform; and provides an enlightening intervention in current debates about realism and relativism, positivism and poststucturalism, modernism and postmodernism, etc. Elaborating his critical realist perspective on society, nature, science (...) and philosophy itself, Roy Bhaskar shows how this perspective can be used to undermine currently fashionable ideologies of the Right, and at the same time, to clear the ground for a reinvigorated Left. Reclaiming Reality contains powerful critiques of some of the most important schools of thought and thinkers of recent years—from Bachelard and Feyerabend to Rorty and Habermas; and it advances novel and convincing resolutions of many traditional philosophical problems. Now with a new introduction from Mervyn Hartwig, this book continues to provide a straightforward and stimulating introduction to current debates in philosophy and social theory for the interested lay reader and student alike. Reclaiming Reality will be of particular value not only for critical realists but for all those concerned with the revitalization of the socialist emancipatory project and the renaissance of the Marxist theoretical tradition. Roy Bhaskar is the originator of the philosophy of critical realism, and the author of many acclaimed and influential works including A Realist Theory of Science, The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation and Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom. He is an editor of the recently published Critical Realism: Essential Readings and is currently chair of the Centre for Critical Realism. (shrink)
Since its original publication in 1979, The Possibility of Naturalism has been one of the most influential works in contemporary philosophy of science and social science. It is a cornerstone of the critical realist position, which is now widely seen as offering a viable alternative to move positivism and postmodernism. This revised edition includes a new foreword.
Sorensen here offers a unified solution to a large family of philosophical puzzles and paradoxes through a study of "blindspots": consistent propositions that cannot be rationally accepted by certain individuals even though they might by true.
The failure of philosophy -- A new political philosophy -- Radical democracy -- Politics of freedom -- The future of democracy -- Decentralization of power -- A Humanist approach to elections -- A new approach to political and economic problems -- Human nature and humanist practice -- Humanist politics -- Integral humanism -- The way out -- New humanism -- The principles of radical democracy.
Roy T Cook examines the Yablo paradox--a paradoxical, infinite sequence of sentences, each of which entails the falsity of all others that follow it. He focuses on questions of characterization, circularity, and generalizability, and pays special attention to the idea that it provides us with a semantic paradox that involves no circularity.
As made manifest by Clower's comments on their “science fiction” nature, general equilibrium theories present such peculiar and puzzling features that the methodologist must perforce seek some specific methodological accommodation for this part of economic theory. The role played by such theories in contemporary economics is so fundamental that the impossibility of appraising them by means of any version of falsificationism, and their patent lack of empirical content if approached with the conceptual devices of the methodology of scientific research programs, (...) have prompted several scholars interested in the methodology of economics to search for a reasonable way out. (shrink)
In a brilliant series of studies, Roy Bhaskar, the originator of the influential, multi-disciplinary and international philosophy of critical realism, presents for the first time in published form, his new philosophy of Meta-Reality. The philosophy of Meta-Reality confirms many aspects of the great philosophical traditions of the past, while correcting their one-sidedness and transcending their dualism and dichotomies, representing what is valid in them in a radically new way, apt for our contemporary times of global crisis.
Sorensen presents a general theory of thought experiments: what they are, how they work, what are their virtues and vices. On Sorensen's view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Lessons learned about scientific experimentation carry over to thought experiment, and vice versa. Sorensen also assesses the hazards and pseudo-hazards of thought experiments. Although he grants that (...) there are interesting ways in which the method leads us astray, he attacks most scepticism about thought experiments as arbitrary. They should be used, he says, as they generally are used--as part of a diversified portfolio of techniques. All of these devices are individually susceptible to abuse, fallacy, and error. Collectively, however, they provide a network of cross-checks that make for impressive reliability. (shrink)
This volume contains invited and contributed papers delivered at a symposium on the occasion of Professor Glauber's 60th birthday. The papers, many of which are authored by world leaders in their fields, contain recent research work in quantum optics, statistical mechanics and high energy physics related to the pioneering work of Professor Roy Glauber; most contain original research material that is previously unpublished. The concepts of coherence, cooperativity and fluctuations in systems with many degrees of freedom are a common base (...) for all of Professor Glauber's research initiatives and, in fact, for much of contemporary physics. His role in shaping these cconcepts is reflected and honoured in the papers contained in this book. (shrink)
The eclipse riddle -- Seeing surfaces -- The disappearing act -- Spinning shadows -- Berkeley's shadow -- Para-reflections -- Para-refractions : shadowgrams and the black drop -- Goethe's colored shadows -- Filtows -- Holes in the light -- Black and blue -- Seeing in black and white -- We see in the dark -- Hearing silence.
This unique collection of studies, based for the most part on transcripts of talks in India, Europe and America over the last five years, covers the period in which Roy Bhaskar was developing out of the seeds of the most radical phase of critical realism, his new philosophy of meta-Reality. Because of the spontaneous and informal nature of these talks and discussions, this book provides probably the most immediately accessible introduction to his thought, both for those new to it and (...) those already familiar with it alike. (shrink)